There’s a wistful, unpretentious elegance to Book Club’s sound. At once urbane and downhome, this is modern pastoral pop music that—in sound and spirit—can trace a straight line back to the simple, unaffected roots of American storysong. It’s where Johnny and June meets Lou Reed & Nico, trading twilight songs born of vacant, mostly forgotten kudzu-covered city lots, the spare, arresting two-part harmonies echoing all the way from the Georgia Piedmont to Tin Pan Alley and back again.
On Book Club’s new LP, One-Way Moon (out Feb. 3) frontman/songwriter Robbie Horlick practices introspection without navel-gazing, his wounded warble trickling like creekwater past the strum of the nylon six-string and the pluck of the banjo, cascading over daydreamy piano and the breathy moan of bow on strings. And his vocal melodies swirl gently, endlessly, around the wholesome, charmingly demure voice of harmony singer Rachel Buckley. The whole affair is a dazzling exercise in restraint—a stripped-bare, acoustic album where what you don’t hear is just as important as what you do.
Since forming in Atlanta in 2011, Book Club has shared bills with a simpatico list of artists including Roadkill Ghost Choir, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Cate Le Bon, The Melodic, Richard Buckner, Maria Taylor and The Deep Dark Woods. Consistently keeping such fine musical company, the band eventually caught the attention of Grammy-nominated producer Matt Goldman, with whom they recorded One-Way Moon at Atlanta’s Glow in the Dark Studios. Following debut LP Ghost (2011) and EP Shapes on the Water (2012), the new album is the band’s third release to date, and its authentic, subtly catchy sound is sure to work its way into your unsuspecting subconscious.